The Caliente Affairs, Volume One

Meet Dina and Nina Caliente, twenty-something identical twin sisters who have moved back to their little hometown of Pleasantview. Not everyone in town is happy to see the twins back, and it's not long before the two are causing trouble and uprooting everybody's pleasant life.

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1. Sealed With A Kiss

“Once upon a time, two baby girls came into the world together. Dina and Nina were exactly the same in every way.”

Well, that’s not quite how the story goes!

The beautiful daughters of Nighat and Flamenco Caliente were greatly loved. Unfortunately for Dina, her role as daddy’s little princess was unfulfilled, due to Flamenco’s long shifts at his job. Denied the attention she should have received, Dina always felt incomplete and had a need to be loved which grew even stronger in her later teenage years after Flamenco’s death.

As soon as she became a young adult, she manipulated her current, much older boyfriend, the wealthy Michael Bachelor, into proposing. Their wedding followed five days after, with Dina moving out of her parents’ house in Pleasantview, and into a new apartment in the heart of Sim City – leaving Nina without her sister for the first time since they were born.

Despite being closer to their mother than Dina ever was, Nina felt like she should also fly the coup and move away from Pleasantview. It was a decision she would soon come to regret, as Nighat died alone in the Caliente’s childhood home shortly afterwards. And, with Dina loved-up with Michael, Nina felt like she was out on her own.

However, Nina soon found companionship in the arms of a young man named Don Lothario. They had a whirlwind romance until it was shattered when Don revealed that he was engaged to the young, rich, beautiful socialite of Pleasantview, Cassandra Goth. How could I compare to her, she thought to herself. Despite her fears, Don admitted his love for Nina had grown too strong to ignore. He promised Nina he would break-off his engagement, and sealed it with a kiss.

Almost a year after Nina had lived on her own, a mysterious prowler began stalking her and stealing her possessions. One night he even approached Nina in her bedroom. Nina screamed, frightening the strange man away before he could harm her. Scared and alone, Nina begged her sister to move in. She and Michael had been arguing but Dina was adamant she wouldn’t give up on their marriage.

But she didn’t have to. Michael died the day after their first anniversary, and Dina moved in with her sister, unable to stay in their apartment, for it was now full of memories which only brought sadness to Dina.

Months passed, but unfortunately Dina felt out of place in her sister’s life now. And then she found out about Nina’s affair with Don Lothario, leaving her with a surge of jealousy. On impulse, she planned to seduce him, then run to her sister and claim he had tried it on, with hopes that it would split the two up, and Dina could fit back into Nina’s single life. The first part of her plan worked, but what Dina then experienced with Don was an enthralling new passion she’d never tasted before, and before she knew it, they were waking up together the next morning in each other’s arms. Dina began to wonder whether or not an affair with Don would be of some use. After all, he was engaged to Cassandra – the daughter of Mortimer Goth, one of the wealthiest men in Pleasantview. Dina was already familiar with him. His wife, Bella, had been Dina’s sister-in-law. However, when Bella didn’t show up to her own brother’s funeral, Dina heard whispers that Bella Goth had since disappeared from Pleasantview with no explanation, leaving behind her two children and Mortimer. Now, with his overprotective daughter looking out for him more than ever, there was no way Dina could get anywhere near Mortimer to make her move.

If she could just separate the two for a while, she was sure that Mortimer would fall for her. So, Dina told Don that he should take a trip away with Cassandra in order to make Dina feel better about betraying her sister. Don was confused, but if it kept Dina quiet, he would do it.

And just like that, everything fell into place. Dina began dating Mortimer, and no matter what Cassandra said, it couldn’t stop his love. With Cassandra busy trying to separate her dad and Dina, Nina saw an opportunity to take her relationship with Don further. Dina didn’t see that coming. Again, she felt jealous of her sister, especially now that she knew what Don was like as a lover. It wasn’t long before Dina found herself back in Don’s bed. But this time Nina became suspicious, and Dina had to invent a boyfriend for an alibi. This made Nina worry about Mortimer; she couldn’t stand back and let her sister cheat on such a nice man.

But could she really go behind her sisters back to warn Mortimer of Dina’s loose ways – especially when it came to men?

*

“Good Morning, Nina!” Mortimer grinned and adjusted his bow-tie, a smile across his face as big as the sun. Nina knew why, she had just watched Dina leave to go see her boyfriend, but not before planting a big kiss on Mortimer Goth’s lips. She couldn’t stand her sister’s constant flings; she had to warn Mortimer in the nicest possible way that... well, if truth be told, her sister was a bit of a slut.
“Mortimer, are you sure that you and Dina should be getting so close. I mean, she is a lot younger than you.” Nina reasoned.
“What are you trying to say? That because I’m old I should just be left to wither and die alone!” Mortimer accused.
“No! I just mean, I think Dina’s playing you to her...” Mortimer interrupted Nina before she had a chance to finish.
“I see what this is, you’re just jealous of your sister.” Mortimer told Nina.
“What?!” Nina cried out.
“I bet you always have been. After all, it’s obvious that the egg wasn’t equally split.” Nina was shocked. But love makes people do crazy things sometimes; she only had to look at her own relationship to see that. “Dina loves me.” Mortimer claimed.
“All she loves is your bank account!” Nina let slip.
“Well! I wondered when the jealous twin would rear its ugly head.” Mortimer said as he walked off.
“Ugly?! Fine, be with Dina, see if I care,” Nina kept on shouting, “I don’t! You two can continue your sham of a relationship. But it won’t be under my roof.” And with that, Nina went out and got the locks changed. When Dina came back, she tried to reason with her sister, but Nina was adamant; either Mortimer apologised, or Dina stopped cheating on him. Dina knew which option she preferred, but Mortimer was stubborn when it came to arguments. It’s what kept Cassandra from breaking the two of them up. Admitting defeat, she left the Caliente lot to try and sort this mess out.

*

“Dina, you’re not coming in!” Nina shouted to her sister outside. When she looked out of the window though, no-one was there. “Huh, that’s funny. I could have sworn I heard somebody.” Nina said to herself. Feeling a little on edge, Nina decided to make her self some cocoa to help her sleep. As she sat in her house all alone, Nina felt a little unsafe. Of course she had reason to, but surely she was just being paranoid. It had been months since Nina had seen her stalker, but then again, stalkers tend to generally stay hidden, Nina thought to herself. She wished to herself that Don was here, everything in her life just felt safer when Don was around. But he was on a night shift at the hospital. Still, I could always call him at work, just for a little chat before bed, Nina reasoned with herself. She stood up and began to make her way to the phone, but froze when she heard heavy breathing coming from the other room. Pick up the phone, Nina screamed at herself. She could dial the police before he even knew Nina was onto him. But what if she was hearing things again? She’d feel like a complete fool calling the police out at this time for nothing. Just a little peek, she thought to herself, to be sure. Slowly edging towards the doorway, Nina was on her tip-toes, trying not to make a sound. She could still hear the breathing. Becoming so tense, Nina squeezed hard on the mug in her hand. It cracked and the loud noise caused Nina to scream and jump. She fell in front of the doorway and saw him looming over. Nina looked up and saw his piercing eyes staring menacingly at her through a mask. She could see him smile, though, and he began approaching her. Nina screamed like last time but it did nothing to stop him coming for her. “Stop, please. Just leave now and I won’t tell anyone. Just get out, NOW!” Nina screamed. The stalker lunged at Nina. “AARGH!” Nina shrieked, as she jumped back and put her arms up in defence. Nina lost her footing and before she could balance herself she fell backwards, and smacked her head on the dining table. It knocked her out instantly. Unbeknown to her though, this was not what her stalker had intended. He didn’t want to hurt Nina - why would he want that. He was in love with Nina, and he wanted Nina to love him back. He couldn't take her like this, so in order to cover his tracks, he decided to steal a few things and make it appear as if a simple robber had frightened Nina.

*

It was morning when Nina woke up on the cold hard floor of her kitchen. The phone was ringing. Dazed but otherwise feeling okay, she got up to answer it. “Hello?”
“Hi, you! How was your night?” Don’s sweet voice asked her. She burst into tears and told Don everything that had happened. Don told Nina to phone the police and he would be right there, just give him a few minutes. The police had advised a paramedic to come and see if Nina was hurt. It felt like ages she was waiting for someone to come. She hoped it would be Don first, but the police turned up before him and asked Nina what had happened. When Don got to the top of Nina's street, he was alarmed to see an ambulance outside Nina’s house. He leapt out of his car and ran as fast as he could, worried Nina had suffered a turn for the worst.
“Please, Miss Caliente, if it is head injury, you must refrain from touching it.” The doctor told Nina. “By it, I mean your head.”
“Are you sure you can’t give me anything for the pain?” Nina asked.
“It is vital you not take any killing pain medication - such as painkillers. Otherwise you fall unconscious and or even worse - something could happen that I know not how to treat.” Nina rolled her eyes and went to sit down. Just then Don burst through the door.
“Nina! Oh, God, are you okay?”
“Don!” Nina went to hug her boyfriend.
“Who is this man?!” The doctor asked.
“This was who I was telling you about, my boyfriend. I told you he was on his way; he can look after me now.”
“Nina, I...”
“Can’t you, Don!?” Nina nudged Don, “There’s no need for Doctor Proctor to stay any longer now you, the trained paramedic, have arrived.” Nina quickly showed the Doctor out and laughed in astonishment. “I need a drink.” she cried out, as she walked upstairs to the rooftop deck. Nina sat at the bar and told Don how she had mistaken a common burglar for her stalker. Another house had been robbed two blocks over and all the stuff was found in an abandoned factory just outside the city centre. “I felt like such an idiot. And then he comes over in that big ambulance with the sirens on and I was just sorry that bump didn’t knock me out longer.”
“Don’t say things like that. I was really worried about you.” Don said, as he touched Nina.
“I fell over and banged my head.” Nina said in a less than impressed voice.
“Nina, you were unconscious and alone in a house with a strange man. Anything could have happened; do you know how lucky you are?” Nina sighed and let Don wrap his arms around her. “Dina should have never left you alone; I should have never left you alone. Why did I..?”
“You couldn’t help it, you were working. And I don’t need Dina.”
“Well you can’t exactly stay here by yourself tonight; and what about the next night?” Nina smiled and looked into Don’s dreamy green eyes.

*

As Don left, he bumped into Dina on the front lawn. “How is she?” Dina asked.
“She's fine - like you care! Go ask her yourself. I’m going back to my place.” Don said as he tried to walk past Dina. She grabbed his arm and smiled.
“I’ll see you there then.” Don frowned at that remark.
“Are you insane? Your sister was almost attacked and you still think I’m just gonna let you sleep at my place tonight?” Don asked.
“Oh, I know you will.” Dina grabbed Don and kissed him with a fiery passion, the same passion he had shown her in bed last night. Don couldn’t pull away, despite what he had said it didn’t change how he felt. Dina had become a part of his life now in some twisted way.
As their lips parted, Don blurted out, “I’m moving in.” Dina looked at Don with a cold, hard glance. Her seductive green eyes squinted, and Don swore a small laugh escaped her throat. “You can go back to my place tonight but rest assured I won’t be there to tuck you in.”

“You spineless bastard. She’s got you wrapped around her little finger, hasn’t she?” Don walked away. But he wasn’t getting away with anything, Dina thought to herself, as she knocked on the door.
“Dina!” Nina answered in a surprised tone.
“I came as soon as soon as I heard.” Dina cried out as she hugged her twin.
“How did you hear?” Nina asked, confused.
“Don told me.” Nina looked confused. “Oh, didn’t he tell you?” Dina paused and looked at her sister with the same cold stare she had left Don with. But with a small groan she sighed and put a smile on. “He wants us to make up. He managed to reach me on my cell when he heard about your attacker this morning.”
“Trust me; there was no risk last night. The only damage done was the bruise to my head, and even that I managed to do all by myself.” Nina sighed.
“Well, as long as you’re okay, I’d really like to talk to you.”
“Go on.” Nina said, unsure whether or not a whole 24 hours had changed Dina.
“Look, I understand now why you were so mad. I kissed Mortimer right before I was going to see another guy. What I did was wrong... Oh god, what I’m doing is wrong.” Dina sighed and sat down.
“What do you mean? Dina, what’s wrong?” Nina sat down next to her and gently touched her sister’s hand. Dina fell forward into Nina’s shoulder and began sobbing.
“It’s my boyfriend. It turns out he was seeing someone else too.”
“Oh, Dina! I knew something like this would happen.” Dina looked at Nina with a fake look of honesty.
“I broke it off. I got a taste of my own medicine and it is sour, I don’t want to hurt Mortimer like that. I’m sorry I had to put you through this.” Nina smiled, as Dina smiled back. She was telling her sister exactly what she wanted to hear.
“I’m sorry I did what I had to do, but I guess we both paid the price. Listen to me, Dina, you can totally have your old room back.” Dina stood up and pretended to cry.
“You mean it?” Nina nodded and the sisters hugged. Out of Nina’s view, Dina’s smile turned into a scheming grin.

*

The next morning, Don, after spending one last night at his house, came over with his belongings and Nina made him some breakfast. She had kept quiet about Dina moving back so as to surprise him when he got here. And boy was it a surprise!
“Dina! What are you doing here so early?”

“Don’t act surprised, I know you got us both to have a good old chat yesterday.” Nina said, “Oh look at you, I knew you’d be happy.” Don looked at Dina who just smiled.
“Thank you, Don. Really, I mean it!” And with that Dina innocently kissed Don’s cheek. Don looked as white as a sheet, but Nina could only see happiness in his eyes. Standing up, Don picked up the cereal bowls to clean, hoping to take his mind off of things.
“Oh don’t bother; the insurance from the burglary is due to come through in a couple of days so I thought we could do with some extra help around the house.” Don’s face became whiter than white, as he closed his eyes in disbelief. He had never told Nina, but before he met her, he had been having a fling with a very sexy, young maid, Kaylynn Langerak. It was only temporary, just while he and Cassandra got through a bad patch. Then he met Nina and realised he might not feel the way he used to about Cassandra. But Kaylynn couldn’t accept that she was not what Don was looking for. So Don got out of their relationship the only way he could think of - he told the cleaning company that Kaylynn had stolen from him! The last he heard she was unemployed, and he just prayed that the maid Nina had hired wasn’t... “Kaylynn!” Don heard Nina welcome the maid. Without her seeing, he quickly crept up the stairs to hide.
That night, Don relaxed on the roof and marvelled at his attempts to dodge Kaylynn. But his calm and relaxed state was disturbed when Dina came up the stairs in her black bikini and fired up the hot-tub. “Care to join me?” She asked, climbing in.
“What the hell kind of twisted game are you playing?” Don asked.
“What game am I playing? That’s rich coming from you.” Dina shot back.
“Stunts like that kiss this morning cannot happen again.” Dina glided from the water like a swan and came towards Don.
“What kiss, the one in the kitchen?” Dina said, before once again kissing Don passionately, “Or the one we just shared now?”
“This ends now!” Don said as he pushed Dina away. “I love Nina! For God’s sake, look at what I’m giving up to be with her. Anyone who knew would think I’m crazy. But you don’t understand anything when it comes to love, do you?” Don said, as he stormed off downstairs. That last comment had hurt Dina more than she’d like to admit. With her ego bruised, she went to her bedroom, only to be disturbed a few minutes later.
“Don!” Dina said, trying to sound surprised, “What’s up?” He came in and Dina shut the door, as soon as she let go of the handle Don grabbed her and began kissing her all over. The two collapsed onto the bed and Don began to slip off Dinas bikini. But for once Dina stopped him. “I don’t know if I can.” Dina said, not believing she had turned Don down.
“Would you STOP! Why do you keep doing this? Do you hate your sister that much?” Don cried out.
“Hate her? It’s because she’s my sister that I can’t do this.”
“It didn’t stop you earlier.”
“I wasn’t thinking straight. When we lived separate lives it was easier to forget you were engaged, and dating my sister. But now you’re here, and it’s like my guilty conscience is on display for the whole world to see. But I don’t care, Don, I...” Don put his finger to Dina’s mouth to stop her saying those three little words.
“That word gets thrown around too much in this house.” Dina began to softly kiss Don’s fingers. He pulled her close and the two kissed passionately once more. After an eternity they finally stopped kissing and Dina lay in Don’s tight embrace, feeling like the two were floating on air. Don began thinking about how Dina was feeling. How can she love me, he thought. I’ve told her that I’m in love with Nina, Why on earth would she still let herself feel this way? Then he stopped and realised that there was no-one to blame but his self. If he truly loved Nina unconditionally then he wouldn’t be here right now, holding her sister in his arms. Dina began to kiss him again and he stopped reading into things so much. He began to enjoy the moment for what it was. And with that, he began to unbutton his shirt. As Don was about to undress, a knock interrupted them, and before either of them had time to think, Nina walked in. She froze as she saw her sister in a swimsuit and her boyfriend with his shirt unbuttoned. There was no doubting it, and Don knew it too. Nina had just caught Don cheating on her.
“No!”
“Nina, this wasn’t meant to...”
“What ARE YOU DOING?” Nina yelled as tears began to cloud her beautiful green eyes.
“It isn’t... It’s not...” For once Don knew that no lying could get him out of this situation. But Dina on the other hand...
“I kept telling you, Don, NO!” Don looked at Dina and a look of total cluelessness came across his face.
“What? What do you mean, Dina?” Nina sobbed.
“Nina, my heart hurts so much right now. I cannot believe someone you trusted, someone I trusted, would put me in this position.” Dina felt like her nose was beginning to grow!
“No... Don, No. Tell me she isn’t...” Nina couldn’t speak, neither could Don.
“He came into my room and told me how messed up he was. He had agreed to move in with you because I wasn’t here. Nina, Don told me he loves me.”
“WHAT?!” Nina yelled, tears rolling down her cheeks.
“Dina, stop it,” Don yelled. “Stop lying for once in your...”
“SHUT UP, THE BOTH OF YOU!” Nina screamed. She turned to Don, “Look at me, Don, look into my eyes and tell me you don’t love her.” Don stared at his girlfriend. And then looked at Dina. That was enough for Nina, and she stormed out of the room crying, locking herself in her bedroom across the hall. Don kept looking at Dina. Dina opened her mouth to say something, but she couldn’t. She left her bedroom and went upstairs to relax on the roof. Don sat down on the bed where just two minutes ago he was so happy. He wondered why he couldn’t lie anymore. Maybe he couldn’t lie because he loved Nina too much to hurt her. Or maybe he loved Dina more than he loved Nina. Confused and tired, he quickly fell to sleep on Dina’s bed. Later that night, Nina crept downstairs. She had been crying most of the night, so confused as to why Don had cheated on her with her sister. Mortimer’s remarks about her being ugly came rushing into her head. If she were honest with herself, nothing was as perfect as she had hoped it would be. Her fairytale romance was tainted to begin with. Don wasn’t hers, he was Cassandra’s. So this was it, it was either admit defeat and let Don walk all over her. Or take charge, and for once in her life be the one to call the shots. Sobbing once more, Nina knew she had a tough time ahead, but she was certain that eventually everything would be right again.

*

One morning after that night, unable to stand the silence in her house no longer, Nina came and joined Dina for breakfast. Before she could begin to talk Nina stopped her. “I’m not mad at you,” Dina was shocked; she really thought the other night was the final straw. “I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few days, and if you really want to know, I actually expected you to do this. All through our lives, you competed for love. Whenever dad was around, you had to be the one on his knee. I felt like a constant disappointment. Whatever I had, you took. Whoever I had a crush on at school, you dated. I know that my first love broke up with me because of you. So no, I’m not mad at you, you were just acting like you’ve done all your life.” Dina was confused, was this good or bad? “Well it ends now.” Nina got up and pulled her sister out of her chair. “Stop acting like a spoilt little brat and grow-up. We are not twelve-years-old anymore. You need to stop being such a kid and finally realise that you don’t have to compete with me.” Nina sat down but Dina stayed standing. “I love you, I will always love you. But right now, I don’t like you. I don’t like what you’ve become. This whole thing with Mortimer, and your boyfriend, and now Don,” Dina let out a sigh of relief inside, Nina hadn’t figured out that the ‘boyfriend she was seeing whilst seeing Mortimer was Don. “I will not live with you whilst you keep messing up your life and the lives of other people.”
“What do you want me to say?” Dina burst out. “I’m sorry, I’ll never do it again? Well I can’t.” Dina went to sit away from her sister at the kitchen counter, as she found herself beginning to cry. Nina joined Dina, and showed her that she was also crying, and there was nothing to be ashamed about. “You don’t think I know what I do is wrong? Well I do. Everyday I look at myself in the mirror and I don’t recognise the girl staring back. Ever since...”
“Ever since Dad died.” Nina finished Dina’s sentence.
“It stupid isn’t it; all that crap they tell you at counselling about how it’s unhealthy to suppress grief, and how it’s wrong to try and find a replacement for something you’ve lost. It all turned out to be true.” Dina revealed.
“Yeah, but I never thought that’d be you.” Nina admitted.
“Michael! I should have seen it back then.” Dina told Nina.
“Are you saying you married Michael because he reminded you of dad?” Nina asked.
“Maybe, I don’t know. In some ways, it was just having that feeling of being loved, and the constant reassurance. You know, we only ever had sex once.” Nina had never seen Dina open up like this; she had finally gotten through to her sister. “I loved him, but I wasn’t in love with him.”
“And what about Mortimer, is he just another replacement?”
“He’s my saviour.” Dina revealed. “I thought he was a replacement, but now I see that if I want things to change - and I do, then I need to hold onto him.”
“Good. But don’t tell him you love him just because you think he wants to hear it. Say it when you’re ready.” Dina smiled and stood up to leave. “And Don?” Nina added. Dina breathed in and told Nina what she needed to hear.
“I was getting back at you for throwing me out, and I’m sorry. He didn’t tell me that he loved me, and I don’t have any feelings for him.” Dina felt that on some level, that was true. She just hoped that that was enough to salvage things.
When Don came downstairs for breakfast he spied Dina outside speaking to Mortimer. He wondered if they were breaking up. But all thoughts of Dina were pushed out of his mind when he saw Nina was sat at the table, waiting for him. “I’m so...”
“I don’t care. What you did is unforgivable.”
“What I did, what about..?”
“Don’t try to blame Dina, she didn’t hold you at gunpoint and say kiss me or die. I know she was just using you and I know, given our situation, that maybe in some ways this is my fault.”
“No. Nina, it’s...”
“Shut up! I’m not done. We are having an affair, which makes me feel cheap and stupid. But I can’t help the way I feel about you.” Nina stood up, “I’ve scheduled a session at the salon for me and Dina. Whilst we’re out, I want you to make up your mind. You’re either with me or you’re not.” An ultimatum; there was at least some hope that he and Nina had a future together, but perhaps Nina was better off without him, despite their love. He couldn’t believe it when he saw Dina and Nina leaving together in a cab. How did Dina keep doing it, he wondered. But it was time to stop thinking about her and anyone else for that matter; he had to think about where his future lay. Once upon a time, Don Lothario hadn’t a care in the world. He sailed through life like a leaf in the breeze. It wasn’t all fun and games though, as when he was a young adult in college, his mother passed away. Don felt Adriana had single-handedly raised him, and now felt a great loss without her. Don’s relationship with his father was distant and cold, and it didn’t help matters that after the funeral, Don watched Nicolo leave Pleasantview – for good. Shortly afterwards, Don’s girlfriend Cassandra introduced her parents to Don, and he found an unlikely father figure in the shape of Mortimer Goth. It was just a shame that he couldn’t see himself staying with Cassandra – not after finding Nina. She found Don at a very sensitive time, when his life was out of balance. In Don’s eyes, Nina restored that balance. But now, he found himself falling for Dina. If she stuck around, who’s to say he wouldn’t revert back to his old, womanising ways? After all, it didn’t appear to Don that Dina was going to change at the click of her heels, despite what she might have told Nina. With all these thoughts in head, Don decided to relax on Ninas bed and see if the answer came to him in a dream. Unfortunately, he had the matter of a scorned maid to attend to.
“I KNEW you were here” Kaylynn yelled.
“Sweetie, I can explain!” He charmed.
“Don’t sweetie me, you pig! You cost me my job, not to mention the stigma of being branded a thief. Do you know how many houses they’ve put me on now?!”
“What was I supposed to do, you wouldn’t leave me alone!” Don pleaded.
“Are you saying I can’t take a hint, because I’m not just your run-of-the-mill schoolgirl. I’m a college graduate now!” Kaylynn said with pride.
“Good, then door is to you as leave is to... just get the heck out of here!”
“Oh that’s just what you want isn’t it. You’d like me to leave, and then when I least expect it, you’ll be up to your old tricks again. Strutting around in your underwear. That perfectly toned body on show. You always made me walk in on you in the shower! Your wet, soapy body just made me wanna...” With that, Kaylynn threw Don onto the bed and kissed him.
“I can’t.” Don protested, which for him was a first.
“Just, just give me this one last time. I swear, just one more time and you’ll never see me again.”
“I can’t trust you.” Don said, knowing full well of Kaylynn’s past promises.
“Trust this...” Kaylynn said, as she began to run her fingers up Don’s naked body underneath his shirt. Don caught his breath and stroked back Kaylynn’s long black hair so he could stare into her sweet, young eyes.
“You’ll never come back!”
“That’s what I said.”
“It wasn’t a question.” Don began to kiss Kaylynn. How he had missed his most sweet, guilty pleasure. “It was an order.”
“Ooh, I like it when you get all dominant.” Kaylynn joked, but Don wasn’t in the mood. Quickly, he let her live out her last little fantasy. Sure he enjoyed it too, but he knew this was just payback. But luckily it wasn’t too long before Kaylynn tired out, but Don didn’t let her catch her breath.
“Get out.” Don said, as he threw her clothes on the bed. “Now!” Kaylynn got dressed; she knew she couldn’t accept her wages for today without feeling like some sort of common hooker. Luckily though, she was leaving Pleasantview, and it was Don who would have to stay and be the one to clean up the mess now, she thought to herself.

*

“What do you mean you had to fire her?” Nina said.
“You wouldn’t believe it, I caught her stealing!” Don lied. “When I confronted her she went crazy and hit me!”
“Oh, you poor thing!” Nina touched Don’s face. Her touch felt so loving, Don hoped Nina’s long red hair (which now resided in a high ponytail) wasn’t the only thing that had changed. Nina pulled away and went to sit down, embarrassed that she had let her feelings show.
“Well it doesn’t surprise me,” Dina said, “She never used to show up the last time we hired her; she always said another house in the town was paying her more for some extra services.” Don blushed. Dina joined her sister and Don suddenly felt awkward, he could sit next to Dina or he could sit next to Nina. They both looked at him, waiting. Don quickly walked to the kitchen counter and sat there. Behind him, the sisters shared a quiet giggle and left the kitchen together. “So, youre saying that he’s forgiven?” Dina asked, as the sisters tried on new clothes in Dina’s bedroom.
“No, I hate him. He can never be forgiven. Him and that gorgeous six-pack of his can just sleep on the roof!” Nina giggled, as she looked through Dina’s wardrobe. She had grown tired of her typical black halter-top and pink cargo pants, and admired her sister's new low-necked, short black dress. “I don’t know. I can’t just let him back in as if nothing happened, but he lives here too now, and I really do love him so much.”
“I can tell. That’s why I felt so bad about what happened.” Dina sighed and thought about what she almost lost the other night.
“I know. I told you I understand. But I’ve seen him look at you, Dina, the way he began to look at me when we first met. Considering what happened shortly after that, I can’t trust he won’t...”
“You can trust me, can’t you?” Nina looked at Dina. She could tell her sister was trying to change; even her natural blonde locks had been chopped off and styled with dark lowlights. Accepting this, Nina hugged her sister for the first time since their falling out.
“I trust you. But it still doesn’t change his feelings. I think, Dina, I may have to use Plan B.” Nina said mysteriously.
“Can we really afford it?” Nina reached into her pocket and pulled out a photograph, then smiled.

*

During his day off, Don was surprised to walk into Ninas bedroom and see Dina lying on the bed. “We need to talk.” She said. Don sat, but didn’t get comfy. “Oh don’t worry, I’m not trying to seduce you. I may spank you, but it will not feel pleasurable!” Don looked confused. “Why won’t you just let Nina back in, you’ve been sharing a bed now for the past two nights but she’s told me you’ve been like ice.”
“I can’t. I don’t want to let her down again.”
“Are you really that weak? Who else could possibly be left in your little black book?” Dina joked.
“It’s not that, I can stay faithful. But I don’t know if...”
“If you love her?” Dina queried.
“No. I don’t know if I love you.” Dina’s eyes widened. Just as Nina had said, but she couldn’t believe it.
“Well let me make it easier, I don’t love you. I never will as long as my sister loves you.” Dina left Don alone.
After what seemed like forever, Nina went up to check on Don. He was still in the same place as before and Nina joined him. “Are you okay?”
Nina gently touched Don’s arm. Don looked into her eyes and asked, 
“Why do you still love me?”
“Why? Don’t you love me?” Nina said, her voice going so quiet that she was almost whispering.
“I have never felt this before; the way I feel about you, I love you, so much.” Nina leaned over and hugged Don. The two looked into each other's eyes. Nina softly kissed Don. She began to caress him but he stopped. “Nina, I can’t.” Don said sadly.
“But, why? Is it, do you love..?”
“Cassandra.”
“Cassandra?!”
“What you said the other day made me think. She’s the reason I’ve been so nervous about devoting myself to you. I have to break-up with her.”
“Oh, God! I hadn’t even thought about this. Are you going to tell her..?”
“No! I couldn’t, she’d be devastated, I think it might kill Mortimer if he finds out his girlfriend’s sister was sleeping with his daughter’s fiancé.”
“Ouch! I guess you’re right. Okay then. When?”
“Now.”
“Now?! But it’s seven PM.”
“It won’t take long. I just want to do it and get back to you.” Don kissed his girlfriend again, and then called up Cassandra. She was over the moon to finally here from her fiancé! He asked if he could come over and she told him that she was alone tonight, as her father and brother were out. Nervous about what he was going to say, Don only needed to take one look at his reasons for doing this before he had ordered a taxi and was on his way to the Goth residence.

*

When Don arrived at the Goth’s beautiful mansion, he was transported back to when he first visited. Cassandra, who had just turned sixteen, sneaked downstairs at midnight to let an attractive, nineteen-year-old boy into her house. The boy, Don, had been dating Cassandra for a long time now. He was her first boyfriend, and she always had to sneak around in fear of her father banning her from seeing him. He was, after all, the College stud, dating Mortimer Goth’s sweet and innocent daughter. Innocent, he laughed as he thought back, after that night she was anything but! On her Eighteenth birthday, she finally introduced her parents to Don (Mortimer remarked that his face reminded him of a naked burglar he once saw leaping out of his window at night). That evening, drunk on love, he asked Mortimer if he could make an honest woman out of his daughter, and as it was time to give Cassie her present, he presented her with a beautiful diamond engagement ring. And now he’d come to take it back. Don had to admit things had changed. Ever since the Caliente twins had crashed into his life like a meteor, Don’s mind just seemed to be elsewhere. And then his affair started... “Cass? Are you here?” Don said, letting himself in. His key was new and hardly used. He left it on the table, knowing he’d need it no more.
“Come upstairs.” He heard Cassandra say. He went up, “In here,” he heard from the bathroom.
“Cassie?” He peered into the bathroom and his mouth opened wide. Cassandra was posing seductively in her underwear, waiting for Don. She obviously thought there was another reason he wanted to see her so badly. She came over and began to kiss him. Don made her stop. “Cass, it’s a bad time. There’s something I’ve...” Cassandra interrupted.
“Don’t worry, we're alone. Just you, me, and true love!” Cassandra led him to her bedroom and she lay on the bed.
“True love?” Don felt something stirring inside. We are engaged. I can’t just let her humiliate herself... so he joined her!

*

When she had finally fallen to sleep, Don quietly got out of bed and went downstairs. He began thinking, his mind flashing back to earlier, his passion-fuelled moment with Cassandra, his total disregard for Nina. He began to cry. ‘I’ve lost her’, he thought. ‘She’ll never understand.’ Don was still breaking up with Cassandra, but he knew he couldn’t lie to Nina. Since he wouldn’t be back at the Caliente house until after his shift at the hospital, Nina would know he’d stayed the night. He eyed the phone across the room and suddenly picked it up. He checked the time and was shocked to see it was coming up to one AM. ‘Did we really spend all that time… he thought. He began to dial the numbers, hoping Nina would be waiting.
“Hello!” Nina answered.
“Nina, it’s me.”
“I was hoping you’d call, what happened. Is it taking longer than you..?”
“I slept with her.” Don blurted out.
“Oh,” Nina said quietly, “I see.”
“But it’s over! Me and her, the engagement, our relationship is through... but she greeted me, and thought I’d come over to... and I couldn’t let her humiliate herself like that.”
“It’s okay, I get it, you met her years before you met me, you’re her fiancé. I know there’s feelings still there, despite what you say. I get it, I believe you, I know.” Nina said, Don could here her voice choking up. “Look, I’m really tired, so if you’re not coming back tonight, I’m just gonna hit the hay, kay?” Without letting him answer she hung up. Don sat on the sofa and began to cry again. Early next morning, Don woke to find himself still on the sofa. He crept around getting dressed, managing to avoid Cassandra. He pulled on his coat and quietly opened the door. He turned around, and walked out of the house backwards, carefully shutting it behind him. When he turned to face forward, Don let out a little yelp as he saw Cassandra standing in front of him on the porch.
“Cassandra!” He said in a high-pitched voice.
“Are you leaving so early?” She questioned.
“Um, no. I was going to head to work. It’d be quicker to walk then go back to my house and wait for...”
“I know your shift doesn’t start for another two hours yet. I woke up and came downstairs, and I saw you asleep on the sofa. What’s going on?”
“Um, maybe we should go back inside.”
“No. You wanted to tell me something last night but then you changed your mind and decided it could wait until after we’d had sex.” Don could see Cassie’s dark brown eyes begin to well-up. “So tell me, now.” She knew, he thought.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you last night, but I didn’t want you to humiliate yourself.”
“Humiliate myself!” Cassandra cried out loud, as the tears began to fall slowly down her face. “No, because that would have been devastating. All this month I’ve been looking at wedding dresses and at wedding cakes, and through all our time together you were... you were screwing that slut Kaylynn! You don’t think that’s humiliating? Well thank you for finally thinking about my feelings, for once.” Don began to calm a little, she only knew about his fling with Kaylynn, that’s all.
“If you knew, then why didn’t you,”
“Say something. Like you should have said something the first time it happened? Maybe I was a little lost for words. ‘Don could never do that to me,’ I tell her. Then she tries to save her own ass by claiming it wasn’t her you were having the affair with.” Don gasped, Kaylynn must have also been hired at the Goth’s house. She obviously was going to tell her about him and Nina.
“What did she say?”
“I was talking with her, gleaming that married life was going to be wonderful. I even,” She began to cry even more, “I told her about us, what we used to do. Do you know how I felt? And you were worried about me humiliating myself?!” Cassandra raised her hands to hit Don in anger. He let her, she began pounding his chest and she pushed him away. “After I told her about our first time, she suddenly burst out laughing and said, to my face, ‘What did you think when you saw his tattoo? ...And that's when it hit me. Where your tattoo is, there’s no way she could have seen it, unless... she knew it, too; she tried to deny it, saying she accidentally walked in on you coming out of the shower. But I knew. And so I fired her, and threw her out before she started lying again.”
Don looked at his feet, “But if you knew then why did you go through that whole charade last night?”
“Because I needed to know if you still loved me. And I needed to know if I still loved you. And I thought things were going to be fine when you kissed me and we... but then I saw you asleep on the sofa. And it all became clear that last night wasn’t just regular sex, it was pity sex. Well I don’t need anyone’s pity,” Cassandra slipped off her engagement ring and grabbed Don’s hand, “Especially not from you.” She placed it in his palm and walked away, as Don began to wipe the tears from his eyes. She looked back and couldn’t help but ask, “Why are you crying? Do you still pity me?”
“No, I think you’re amazing,” Cassandra rolled her eyes. “Really! You are so beautiful and you are so much stronger inside than I am. I’m crying because I can’t believe I let myself treat you so bad. And I’m also crying because I’m happy.” Cassandra laughed in astonishment. “Happy that now you’ll finally be able to find someone who’ll love you forever, not like me, who only loved you once.” Cassandra looked at her ex-fiancé and suddenly felt a little sad. She always knew, in the back of her mind, that they would never be married. But she wanted to believe it so much. She just wanted to make her father happy, and let him walk her down the aisle. This was all for him, she never wanted anything other than to make him happy. But maybe now she could focus on herself, on actually finding love. “I guess, goodbye. And again, I’m sorry.” Don said, wondering why all his break-up’s couldn’t be this easy.
“I’m sorry, too. I don’t think you’re going to be able to find another girlfriend so quickly after last night!” Cassandra let an evil smile cross her face and Don shivered, remembering how she had dug her nails into his back during sex, scratching him deep. “Actually, I’m lying; I’m not that sorry at all.” She smiled and went back inside her house. Don thought that maybe it wasn’t such an easy break-up. After all, last night might have cost him Nina. And he really didn’t want to lose her.

*

“I hope you like it. I’m not good in the kitchen, but I’ve been studying, and watching The Yummy Channel just for you.” Dina said, as she began to serve more food to Mortimer. He sat there with his mouth full already.
“I’m sure it will be lovely. After all, it has the best ingredient.” He smiled.
“What’s that?”
“It was made by you.” Dina smiled and felt her heart begin to race. She couldn’t believe how fast her relationship with Mortimer was going. She was happy that finally she could relax and fall in love without any worries. Except for the fact her sister was in love with a man who was in love with her!

“I'm back!”
Dina stopped her cooking when Nina noisily returned home. She ran to her sister and smiled. “Did you do it?”
“I did it, it’s ours!” The two sisters shrieked and began hugging.
“What on earth is going on?” Mortimer asked, his face stuffed full again.
“I’ll tell him the good news, you’ve got a visitor waiting to speak with you.” Nina paused and didn’t look so happy anymore. She went upstairs, opened her door, forcing a brave smile.
“How was your day.” She asked Don, as they embraced on her bed. She was nervous inside, Nina was adamant that nothing would happen so soon after his betrayal. Sure, on the phone she said it was okay, but she hoped that Don would realise the mistakes he’d made and let her come to him before he tried to get so close with her again.
“I might be getting that promotion I mentioned.”
“Really?” Nina asked, avoiding what she really wanted to tell Don. “Listen, I need to tell you something, about our future... if you think we have a future that is.
 She pulled out the photograph she’d been looking at all week. It was something that made her remember happier times, and she so desperately wanted them back. Sharing it with Don, he recognised Nina and Dina as children in the picture, stood in front of a big red brick house with their parents. “I used to live in a great house on the edge of Pleasentview when I was little. Well, it’s been empty for a while now and, Don, I’m going to move there.” She smiled, Don didn’t.
“Oh, I see.” Nina was still smiling.
“I mean we’re going to move there. All three of us!” Don looked at Nina and she began to kiss him.
“But I thought you were mad.”
“I am. But I want us to try and get it right this time, I want to look at this as a new start for all of us.”
“This is going to be great,” Dina exclaimed, as Don and Nina left the bedroom and joined Dina downstairs. Mortimer had already left, but it was obvious to Don that the events from earlier that day hadnt reached Cassandras father yet. “I know what you mean now when you said you wanted to go back to beginning. God, at first I thought you we’re going to kill yourself or something.”
“Dina!
” Nina giggled, sitting down in the living room with her sister. I just think we all became too involved in each others business. We’d started on a collision course, and all it needed was for me to put us back on the right path!” Dina laughed along with Nina, but Don just stood there, pretending to watch TV. Was this really the best move? After all, he was planning to break-up with Nina just five minutes ago. After all his mistakes, he thought it was the honest thing to do. Maybe they were breaking up, he thought. Just a little; they were leaving behind the old, flawed relationship they once had, and moving forward. But now that Nina finally had him all to herself, Don wondered if she might leave behind the love that had blossomed when they first met.

*

In the town of Pleasantview, Cassandra Goth was once again shopping for one, as her brother was having a sleepover with one of his friends. It was times like these she couldn’t help but think to pick up the phone and invite Don over. But that wasn’t going to happen now their wedding was off and he was planning his next conquest - Nina Caliente. Speaking of which, her father was having a sleepover with one of his friends, too. The twin sister of Nina - Dina Caliente. A little part of her admitted she had always known; after all, she had always hated Dina, and the two were twins. It was no wonder that Nina shared the same loose morals and complete disregard for other peoples feelings as her sister. But Cassandra cared neither for the whys or hows of her past anymore. She was sick of going backwards. It was time to move forwards, she thought, as she looked down the food aisle and felt a surge of excitement upon seeing her close friend, Darren! Darren Dreamer had a whimsical, creative soul; he loved art - but not as much as he loved his childhood girlfriend, Darleen. He could still recall that beautiful summer's day when she announced she was pregnant. Darren was reminded of his father’s words about life resembling art. How art was never perfect in the eyes of the artist but to everyone else it was perfection. Darren craved perfection, so proposed to Darleen on the spot. The moment she accepted, Darren thought he’d finally found something that he could appreciate as much as everyone else would. And when his son Dirk came along, Darren was ready to live happily ever after. Knowing that out of everything he’d produced in life, his family was his greatest achievement. But, when Darleen passed away so young, Darren was faced with a reality that life doesn’t stay perfect. And, as it turned out, that storybook ending he was ready for was yet to come. In fact, it was barely just beginning.
“Hi, Darren! Shopping for one, also?” Cassandra said, as Darren placed a microwave meal into his shopping basket. The two had grown to be very close friends ever since Darren had moved to Pleasantview after the death of his wife.
He didn’t talk much about her now, but Cassandra knew the basics. Darleen had grown up in Pleasantview but met Darren when she went to University. Darleen fell pregnant very early on in their relationship, so as soon as they could, the two got married and she moved in with Darren. Dirk was born (he was a teenager now and in the same classes at school as Cassandra’s brother), and the family were poor but happy, until… well, Cassandra didn’t felt comfortable asking too much about what had happened to Darleen, as she knew it was only recently she had died. It was apparent Darren had wanted to see Darleen lay to rest in her hometown, so he and Dirk moved to Pleasantview. Still, even with his son, she could see Darren was lonely… a trait they both shared now.
“Sure am, Dirk’s out with his new flavour of the week so I’m alone until eleven!” Cassandra scowled inside at Dirk’s philandering, reminding her of younger Don Lothario.
“Look, this is ridiculous, it costs more for two single meals than if you bought one double-meal. Why don’t I just get one of those for the both of us to share – at my place?” Cassandra propositioned.
“That’s a really nice idea!” Darren agreed with smile. And though not sure if he was simply reading into things, it felt to him like this could be the start of an extraordinary night.

*

After their double-meal, Cassandra showed Darren around the Goth’s extravagant mansion. Most parts had old, dated decor (much beloved by Mortimer), but Darren choked back a gasp when Cassandra brought him to the attic. “It sure is... different to the rest of your house!” Darren avoided insult, taking in the bright yellow room that surrounded them.
“I know what you’re thinking! Dad did it this weekend. I think there’s something he’s not telling me - he always redecorates when he has something on his mind.”
“Well then, I can see he has lived a very easy life!” Darren joked, referring to the out-dated decor of the other rooms. Cassandra laughed. She’d laughed a lot tonight. She really enjoyed Darren’s company, but didn't dare hope for anything more than friends - what with Darren's recent bereavement and her own abysmal love life. Yet, she couldn’t help but catch Darren’s gaze, and for a while they just stared into each other’s eyes until finally Darren broke the silence. “I was thinking whether or not I should lie to you.”
“Lie to me, about what?”
“I was going to say that I was sorry to hear you’d broken-up with Don. But, truth is I’m not sorry, I’m glad!” The two got closer.

“I’m kind of glad too.” Cassandra said as she edged her lips closer to Darren’s.
“Why’s that?” Darren whispered.
“Because I wasn’t in love with him. In fact, I think I’m falling in love with someone else.” Cassandra smiled bashfully.
“Who?” Darren played along, but before she could answer, Darren kissed her! And Cassandra felt an explosion inside, like an exploding firework in the middle of a fireworks factory, setting off all the other fireworks! She hadn’t felt like this in a long time, maybe even ever. Darren too began to excite. “I’ve always felt it, this connection between us. I want you to know, I’m not just in love with you, I truly love you! Almost more than anything else in this world.” The almost referring to his son, of course.
“That means so much to me, Darren. Cassandra felt touched, knowing how hard it must have been for him to love again after losing the first love of his life. Wanting to hold her new lover closer, she moved herself into his body. Darren hesitated, but Cassandra smiled and reassured him, I can certainly feel that connection between us now!” Cassandra winked as the two kept on kissing.
“I suspect you’ve always felt it?” Darren queried.
“I’ve felt it before, but never like this!” She giggled, as Darren kissed her some more. The kissing became more intense as Cassandra moved her hands underneath Darren’s shirt, touching his warm naked skin and exploring further down. But Darren suddenly pulled back and tensed up. Cassandra sighed, “You don’t have to be polite you know. We have the whole house to ourselves tonight.” Cassandra clearly suggested.
“I can’t leave Dirk alone all night.”
“He won’t be alone all night; that is if you get back to kissing me right...” Cassandra pulled Darren towards her, "...now!" For so long, Cassandra had ached to feel the passion of a man that actually loved her. And as the two quickly stumbled down from the attic, leaving a trail of clothes behind them, making it into Cassandras room and onto her bed, she finally felt everything she had been longing for.

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